By Pauline Stewart.
The Whitianga Oceans Festival, held on the sunny Saturday, of 9 September, down by the estuary and along the esplanade of Whitianga, drew an impressive crowd of 3,500 and more. Festival goers were so keen, travelling from all over the North Island for the one-day bonanza, and standing in a lengthy queue well before the opening time with everyone in good humour waiting for their turn to enter the Oceans Festival site. Congratulations to Linda Bird and the team of the Mercury Bay Community Events Support Trust for such a joyful, diverse festival, showcasing the best of the coastal region. Festival goers sampled the finest local wines in their wine glass giveaway, delectable treats from food stalls - Indian, Uruguayan, Kiwi, Hungarian and Aussie, and groove to the rock and pop rhythms of live music playing from the concert stage throughout the day. The favourable weather provided the ideal setting for festival-goers to relax by the water in their picnic chairs. This remarkable turnout underlined the event's significance, drawing people from various corners, including Whakatane, Pukekohe, Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland, and Wellington. A vintage DC3 plane transported a load of festival- goers. In a remarkable display of community spirit, the Lion's Club" played a central role, with dedicated volunteers working tirelessly to raise funds for a mammogram machine for the whole region. The Coastguard was also visible raising funds. Their unwavering commitment and hard work highlights the role of these community organisations in fostering community support for essential causes. Whitianga Oceans Festival, marked by its meticulous planning and execution, attracted thousands. Everyone seemed to have a great time. In a period where roads are still broken and many vulnerable to more slips; where some businesses are struggling with less visitors and people having little confidence in the economy; Oceans Festival was a bright shining sun. Of course, the backdrop of almost perfect weather was a boost and believe it or not that’s what the Coromandel does best- shines its sun on all who come.
Caption: Entertainers at the Whitianga Ocean's Festival.